UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Superb Serbia end Spain reign

Spain 1-2 Serbia (agg: 1-2)
Spain, champions in the last two editions, will take no part in the 2015 finals after their 35-match unbeaten competitive run was ended.

Filip Kostić (top) celebrate his late winner with Aleksandar Pešić
Filip Kostić (top) celebrate his late winner with Aleksandar Pešić ©UEFA.com

Serbia ended Spain's reign as UEFA European Under-21 Championship title holders with a dramatic victory in Cadiz.

Following a goalless first leg in Serbia on Friday, the visitors took a significant stride towards next summer's final tournament in the Czech Republic when Saúl Ñíguez put through his own net. Spanish hopes were briefly revived when Sergi Roberto levelled two minutes into added time, but within 60 seconds Filip Kostić had sealed their fate.

Isco had the first chance of the night, shooting wide in the 13th minute, but it was Radovan Ćurčić's Serbia who struck first a minute past the half-hour. Aleksandar Pešić's cross caused problems in the home defence, prompting Ñíguez to turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga and leave the defending champions with it all to do.

Spain, winners in 2011 and Israel two years later, tried to rally but were unable to find a way past Marko Dmitrović, the goalkeeper saving brilliantly from Isco as time began to run out.

FC Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto did finally beat the keeper in the 92nd minute but Spain still needed another goal. Instead it was Serbia who had the last word, Kostić slotting low past Arrizabalaga almost immediately to end Spain's 35-match unbeaten run in competitive football – and break their grip on the trophy.

Pablo Sarabia, Spain midfielder
We are very hurt by the defeat. We must learn from our mistakes but it is a real shame to miss out on such a great tournament. We had more chances than Serbia and they scored with their first opportunity, so it wasn't enough for us. We made mistakes and we really should have scored more goals.

Albert Celades, Spain coach
We did everything we could, but in football the best team doesn't always win. They had two shots on target and scored two goals. We played well, we had a lot of the ball, we gave everything but it was all for nothing.

This is a terrible blow for everyone; the team does not deserve this punishment. We tried to win the game right until the final second, but it was no use. We are left with a terrible feeling and everyone in the dressing room is destroyed, because these boys gave everything but it was impossible.

Selected for you